In a major drug haul, the Mumbai zonal unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested three men and seized 61kg of hashish from a truck in Thane. According to NCB officials, the estimated value of the consignment is about Rs 1.25 crore in the retail market.
The consignment, believed to be top quality Kashmiri hashish, was concealed in a cavity in the roof of the driver’s cabin.
Yashodhan Wanage, zonal director of NCB, Mumbai, said they had received a tip-off that two persons — Shaukat Ali, 19, and Asif, 20 — were going
to smuggle hashish from Kashmir. They were to deliver it to Sayyed Ismail (35), a resident of Mumbra in Thane district.
On Thursday, the NCB sleuths got suspicious when they saw a truck with a number plate in the Gurumukhi script. They followed the truck till it stopped at a place in Kharegaon where Ismail was waiting to collect the consignment.
The NCB team intercepted the truck, but found it empty. On being questioned, the accused revealed that the hashish was concealed in a cavity in the roof.
NCB officials saids the value of the hashish is Rs 80 lakh when it is smuggled for distributors, but goes up to Rs 1.25 crore in the retail market. Hashish of such superior quality costs around Rs 2,000 per tola (10 gram) on the street, while inferior quality one is available for Rs 1,300.
According to officials, Kashmiri hashish is usually brought into the city from January. “We suspect it could be left over from last season,” an NCB official said.
Also, the accused had planned to bring the consignment into the city earlier, but couldn’t do so because of the disturbance in Kashmir.
“The moment curfew was lifted, they started their journey,” the official said. All the three accused are in the custody of NCB till Thursday.